Energy holding company,
) reported strong first-quarter 2014 results of $1.37 per share
comfortably surpassing both the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the
year-ago figure of $1.11. The upside came from higher margins
boosted by an extremely cold first quarter, along with customer
growth and rate base hikes.
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SCANA CORP (SCG): Free Stock Analysis Report
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The company's quarterly operating revenue increased 21.3% year
over year to $1,590.0 million and also came above the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $1,315.0 million.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G): Quarterly
earnings from this segment, SCANA's principal subsidiary, were 89
cents per share, up from the year-ago level of 68 cents. This was
due to higher electricity cum gas margins, a Base Load Review Act
rate increase, and customer growth. This was partially offset by
increases in operations and maintenance expenses, higher property
taxes, depreciation and share dilution.
As of Mar 31, 2014, natural gas and electric customers of
SCE&G increased 2.4% and 1.3% from a year ago to 332,000 and
PSNC Energy: This segment recorded earnings of 24 cents per
share, flat year over year. As of Mar 31, PSNC Energy's customer
base widened 2.3% year over year to 512,000.
SCANA Energy-Georgia: The segment - comprising SCANA's retail
natural gas marketing business in Georgia - posted earnings of 16
cents per share, flat year over year.
Corporate and Other, Net: This business segment posted earnings
of 8 cents per share versus 5 cents in the year-ago period.
SCANA affirmed its full-year 2014 earnings guidance of
$3.45-$3.65 per share.
We expect SCANA to benefit from the new electric generation
plants within its service territory and nuclear expansion
projects, going forward. The company is a stable, relatively
strong and regulated integrated electric utility, supported by
favorable regional demographics and electric utility rate. On the
flip side, we are apprehensive of the company's sensitivity to
changes in coal, gas, oil and other commodity prices.
Construction costs and delays could affect the timing of rate
base growth, earnings, cash flow and balance sheet quality.
SCANA currently carries a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold),
implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader
U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.
Meanwhile one can consider other energy sector stocks such as
Pioneer Energy Services Corp.
RSP Permian, Inc.
Clayton Williams Energy, Inc.
). All these stocks currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).